Now that it seems fairly apparent that wide receiver Danny Amendola will be catching passes somewhere other than with the St. Louis Rams during the 2013 season, the team needs to formulate a plan to fill his void in the offense. There will be plenty of transition going on for the club this offseason as they prepare to move on from several key components of their offensive configuration in the year ahead. Here is a plan for the Rams as they look to rejuvenate an offense that has fallen on hard times in recent seasons.
REVITALIZED RUNNING GAME
While it may seem like the sky is falling with stalwart Steven Jackson expected to void the final year on his contract and become a free agent that is far from reality for the Rams. The team liked what it saw from 7th rounder Daryl Richardson in his limited role a year ago and with an innocuous complementary back added via the draft or free agency, the duo could thrive in 2013. Getting the ground game going will also helps alleviate some of the constant pressure on quarterback Sam Bradford and keep opposing defenses off balance.
OFFENSIVE LINE HELP
Clearly the weakest link on this Rams’ offense is up front where they really lack continuity as a unit. Health wasn’t any help a year ago with big time free agent acquisition center Scott Wells missing nearly half of the year due to injury and rookie guard Rokevious Watkins missing the entire season. The team clearly lacks depth along the line however and that showed with these injury issues in 2012. This year’s NFL Draft is loaded with great prospects in the trenches and the Rams need to load up on big eaters this offseason.
SKILL POSITION UPGRADES
It may not be seen as an upgrade with both Amendola and Brandon Gibson expected to leave in free agency, but the team could still get better even with those subtractions. Chris Givens had an outstanding rookie season and Brian Quick showed flashes toward the end of the 2012 campaign. Where the Rams could really use a complementary player is at tight end with Lance Kendricks being average at best through his first two seasons. The league is trending toward two tight end sets and the Rams could use the draft to find another weapon for Bradford. Even free agency may be an option as tight ends will likely be less costly on the open market than the game-changing wide receivers.
All in all, the Rams can’t be too upset with Amendola and Gibson opting to look for a bigger paycheck this offseason. Both are in the primes of their careers and should get paid while they still can. For the team however, there will be no shortage of options to continue improving offensively in 2013. Look for the Rams to surprise some people in the year ahead and actually improve on offense even while losing some of their key contributors.